Los Angeles natives PAPA have carved a nice place out for themselves as a band to watch. With their debut album due out October 8th and a slew of upcoming shows on the schedule, they are headed in the right direction and picking up speed. I got a chance to interview lead singer/drummer Darren Weiss and bassist Danny Presant recently about the inception of the band, the influences behind their debut, and what sounds like a horrifying run-in with bed bugs. Check out the interview below as well as the video for their latest single “Young Rut.”
1. Give us a little backstory on how you guys met and formed PAPA.
DARREN: We met when we were kids—seven or eight years old. Then about 12 years ago we formed PAPA in New York City, which is where we used to study, have sex, and eat ice cream.
DANNY: I met Darren through our friends who were identical twins. We used to compete in youth gymnastics and he was normally my biggest competitor until one day my partner fell off the high beam and his partner sprained his ankle on the long trampoline. The coach teamed us up and we’ve been doing it ever since.
2. Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
DARREN: D’angelo, Wharton Esherick, Nick Cave
DANNY: Urs Fischer, Brendan lynch, Nick Darmsteadter, Beyoncé
3. Were there any specific influences on your upcoming debut album? What kind of stuff were you listening to, watching, reading when recording that maybe subconsciously crept it’s way into your sound?
DARREN: There weren’t very many specific influences, but there were endless broad influences. I was listening mainly to U2, A Tribe Called Quest, and Claude Debussy. But in the studio we didn’t bring in many music references. Instead, I brought my favorite art books in with me, things for us to look at before going in for takes to get in the right mind set. I brought in books about Frank Lloyd Wright, Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, and the beats.
DANNY: When we made our album I was listening to everything from Bruce Springsteen to Ennio Marricone to early G-funk. I was watching movies such as Being There and Crazy Stupid Love as well as episodes of Sopranos, RIP Tony. I was re-reading The Great Gatsby.
4. Describe PAPA in five words or less.
DARREN: YOUR SEXIEST NIGHTMARE
DANNY: Spicy bold amoeba sexy chocolate
5. What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you while you’re on the road?
DARREN: I gave Questlove a poem I wrote called “Tree tip table tops” and he wasn’t into it.
DANNY: I got bed bugs in a shitty hotel in Iowa. It was a demon hell ride.
6. What’s the coolest moment that has happened thus far?
DARREN: Once I had an orgasm and sneezed at the same at 4:20 pm.
DANNY: I was working as a delivery boy for Fabrocinies and Melanie B aka Scary Spice tried to sleep with me.